Q: Who is the redeemer of God's elect?
A: The only redeemer of God's elect is the Lord Jesus Christ, who, being the eternal Son of God, became man, and so was, and continues to be, God and man in two distinct natures, and one person, forever.
Acts 4:12: And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.
Forgive the lateness of this post. It was a busy week, as Troy and I had the privilege of attending the Banner of Truth's annual Minister's Conference at Elizabethtown College. For those unfamiliar with the Banner of Truth, it's a publishing company that works very hard to republish and keep in circulation great writings of the Puritan and Reformed tradition. The conference was on Suffering in the Church, and as a young church plant, as many of you are aware, we've all shared quite a bit in suffering in our young church life. Troy and I were encouraged and lifted up this week as we heard sermon after sermon exalting Christ in our sufferings and callings as ministers of the gospel. It is our prayer that the encouragement and strength we received this week will be passed onto the people of Proclamation so that you too can be encouraged and lifted up by the great hope we have in the gospel.
But onto this week's catechism. It's another week where there is so much meat packed into a short question and answer! First, we have the truth that Jesus Christ is the only redeemer of God's elect. We live in a world that hates exclusive claims. But the heart of the gospel is that Jesus Christ is the only way to reconciliation with the Father, the only way to eternal life. It flies in the face of our so-called "tolerant" and "inclusive" culture, and yet, it is an inclusive truth! Anyone who calls on the Lord Jesus Christ in faith for the forgiveness of sins, and trusts that he is the only redeemer of mankind, the only way to have the forgiveness of sins and eternal life shall and will be saved! As Troy often says, "Anyone can get in on this!"
Secondly, we get a glimpse into how the Father and Son work together in salvation. Notice that Jesus is called the "redeemer of God's elect". Do not miss this. Each person in the Trinity plays a very distinct role in salvation. The Father elects a people. The Son dies to redeem the elect. And as we'll see in coming weeks as we continue our study in the catechism, the Spirit regenerates and gives new life to those whom the Father elects and the Son redeems. Salvation is an act of the Triune God.
Thirdly, we see in this week's catechism a clear statement of the nature of Jesus Christ. He is the eternal son of God. The Nicene Creed stresses this point, that Jesus Christ is the eternally begotten son of God, "begotten from the Father before all ages". There was never a point where Jesus Christ did not exist, and there was never a time where he did not exist as the Son of the Father. The Father and the Son have enjoyed perfect fellowship with each other from all eternity. Furthermore, Jesus, having come to Earth in the form of a baby, taking on the nature of mankind, is now both fully God and fully man. He retains both his natures. He ascended into Heaven in the flesh, and lives there now as fully God and fully man. "Two distinct natures, and one person, forever."
These are truths that theologians for 2000 years have pondered and debated, and are important in understanding both salvation and the nature of our Lord. They help us understand God's plan to save men. They show us how Jesus Christ could atone for man, being a man himself. But let us not miss the main point of this catechism. Jesus Christ is our only hope in salvation. Jesus Christ is the solution to the fall. He is the solution to our original sin. He is the solution to our sinful actions that flow from our condition in Adam. He is the second Adam, our new federal head. He is the only hope, the only redeemer, the only name under heaven by which we are saved!